Student stories: Jamie Dalton

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Jamie Dalton is a graduate of the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance

Jamie Dalton is a graduate of the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance

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A past pupil of St Pauls, Waterford City, Jamie Dalton is a graduate of the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance in 2019. I currently work as head of strength and conditioning with the Waterford FC Academy. My work experience abroad with West Bromwich Albion as a Sports Science / Strength and Conditioning Coach provided me with a great set of skills which I now bring to my new role. This year long placement was an invaluable element of my development.

What attracted you to study at Waterford Institute of Technology?

I always had a desire to work in the sport industry. After graduating from WCFE I was went on to work in the fitness industry as a gym instructor which stood to me well in hindsight. I had been researching different degree courses and applied thinking I wouldn't commit to them for four years as I was 25 at the time. However, I really wanted to have a career in high performance sport so when the acceptance letter came through I gladly accepted the place.

What have you done in life prior to studying here?

I worked in retail for years before attending WCFE to study Fitness & Health and then WIT.

What words of advice do you have for new students?

Embrace the experience. The four years flew by for me. Attend events in the college, meet with classmates outside of college and ask your lecturers questions. Make the most of it you'll miss it when it’s over.

What have been the highlights of your college experience?

I would say getting to spend my work placement year working at West Bromwich Albion was the number one highlight. Working for a Premier League team was beyond a dream for me, something i could have never even hoped for a couple of years before. It was an incredible experience and I loved every minute of it. The people I met along the way classmates, many of whom I keep in contact regularly and the brilliant lecturers that help guide me and motivate me to be better throughout.

How did placement add to your college experience?

My placement year also allowed me to network/build relationships with so many brilliant practitioners many of whom I keep in contact with to this day. I also got to live in a great city (Birmingham) for a year which is something I never would have expected prior but I loved it.

I really believe it’s hard understand just how the classroom theory is applied until you experience it in action, so if at all possible I would recommend going abroad to experience a professional set up.

What motivated you to return to education as a mature student?

After years working in a menial job honestly I just became unhappy and unfulfilled. I lost a close family member before returning to study and it really motivated me to want to be better, make something of myself and do something that made me happy because excuse the cliche but life really is too short.

After completing my course I...

I have since become the head of Strength and Conditioning for the Waterford FC Academy something I never would have anticipated before WIT.

I have also received several job offers outside of Waterford and have worked with the Waterford GAA development squads and senior hurling squads as well as many local amateur soccer clubs. I am currently in the process of applying for a PhD at WIT.

How did your experience at WIT help get you to where you are now?

Really well through the relationships I was able to build over the four years. Many of the opportunities I've received since have come from lecturers or even coaches who I've met during that time. The practical exposure, whether it be delivering sessions in class or on work placement or giving presentations for assignments being front and center so much over the course has helped my confidence tremendously. Getting in front of a group can be daunting at first but I tried to do it as much as possible and it has definitely helped me in achieving my goals (Waterford FC Academy S&C Lead).

Anything you'd like to add

After my time in WIT I now have a hunger to continue my education and development. 5 years ago I’d always put a sort of ceiling on myself that I wasn't smart enough to do this or that but attending WIT has changed my mindset entirely. I can honestly say that accepting my place in the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance is the best decision I have made thus far.

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Sports Coaching & Performance

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